The first full-length trailer for the Hikari no Ou anime adaptation has been released. The trailer, which features an epic orchestral score, previews the voices of the main characters and some of the supporting cast.
The characters whose voices are previewed include the young village-raised heroine Toko (Misaki Kuno), the intelligent capital-raised former student Koshi (Shouya Ishige), the beautiful and smart only daughter of the Okibi family Kira (Saori Hayami), Koshi’s sister Hinako (Megumi Yamaguchi), Koshi and Hinako’s Fire Hunter father Haijuu (Shinichirou Miki), and the wandering Fire Hunter Akira (Maaya Sakamoto).
Other characters who make an appearance include Shozo (Chiaki Kobayashi) and Kaho (Makoto Koichi).
Hikari no Ou is set to premiere on January 14, 2023 in Japan, where it will be broadcast via the WOWOW channel. It is based on the fantasy novels written by Rieko Hinata and illustrated by Akihiro Yamada, which began in 2018 and ended in 2020 with four volumes.
The story of Hikari no Ou takes place after mankind’s final war, with the land covered by a black forest where fiery creatures roam. The setting also includes a pathogen that causes human bodies to ignite. With the creatures being the source of the only fire that humans can safely handle, sickle-armed Fire Hunters (Hikari) venture into the forests to seek these beings. Among the hunters, there is a talk of a thousand-year comet, and of how the one to hunt it will be called the King of the Fire Hunters (Hikari no Ou). The main characters are 11-year old Touko and 15-year old Koushi, whose intersecting fates set the story in motion.
The anime is directed by Junji Nishimura (True Tears, Ranma 1/2 Nettou Hen Episode 70 onwards) with series compostion by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell director, Urusei Yatsura Episode 1 – Episode 129 chief director). The two previously worked together on the 2021 vampire comedy Vlad Love, with the former as director and the latter as chief director, series composer, and scriptwriter. Decades earlier, Oshii directed 1984’s Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer movie with Nishimura as unit director.
The other staff of Hikari no Ou include Takuya Saitou (Outlaw Star, Macross 0) as character designer and one of the three chief animation directors, Hiromasa Ogura (Bakuten!! movie co-art director) as art director, Youko Watanabe (Giovanni’s Island assistant color designer) as color designer, Eiji Arai (Fena: Pirate Princess) as photography director, and Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell) as music composer. The other two chief animation directors are Kazuchika Kise (xxxHOLIC and Blood-C character designer) and Toshihisa Kaiya (Ascendance of a Bookworm co-character designer, World Trigger Season 2 and 3 character designer). Signal.MD is the animation production company.